How To Choose The Right Day-care For Your Baby/Toddler?
Centre-based or home-based?
Choosing the right day-care for your baby can be quite a task, both emotionally and logistically. As a parent, you have your own reasons to opt for a day-care – be it professional obligations, social skill development or anything else that you find justified. But above all, what you are actually looking for, is a clean & quality day-care that has a friendly, interactive and passionate staff.
The early years of your munchkin’s healthy brain development calls for a lot of attention. A good day-care can be the perfect place to help your toddler develop social skills, build a good relationship with their teacher, inculcate good habits and a lot more to learn and grow with. Read along to know how you should go about it and what to look for in a day-care:
1. Where To Start?: A recommendation from family and friends can be an amazing starting point! Looking for some options in your own area should be considered because you don’t want to waste those precious hours on the road when you can spend that time making memories with your little one or finishing up one of your pending tasks.
2. Licensing: A legalized permission to run the day care business, is what a state-level license indicates. However, keeping a check on the hygiene factors like cleanliness & quality comes with accreditation from renowned organizations like:
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)
3. Good Teacher-to-Child Ratio: A caregiver should be there to keep a check on your child, at all times. Even if your little one is asleep, he/she is not left alone. Ideally, a caregiver should be supervising three to four babies/toddlers as these ratios determine the attention your baby will get for healthy social and emotional development.
4. Quality Educational Staff: The teachers or the educational staff should not just be creative and intelligent but should also have proper education and training too! You should ask about the professional development they usually get. Ideally, an efficient and educational staff must get such training each year to keep a check on their skills.
5. A Positive & Healthy Environment: A good and transparent policy procedure is something a quality day-care would always adhere to. Their day-to-day functioning depends largely on these, for it keeps the efficiency of the internal system at check. A good day-care would be happy and open to share everything (starting from immunizations to diaper changing routines). There must be processes in place to follow in case of an injured or a sick child. Also, emergency plans on sudden catastrophic situations like fire, flood or any other natural disaster should also be on the list.
6. Focused Mainly On Learning: Keep a check on the availability of age-appropriate toys, books and accessories. You may always enquire on what is the weekly activity plan schedule, which may include reading, art, music, drama and outdoor activities as well. Reading must be on their schedule.
7. Excellence Driven: With high standards and a motive that always leads to improvement, an ideal day-care must be driven by excellence. How is the program evaluated? Are outside evaluators the people who observe the program? What is the training plan for the professional development of the staff? Knowing answers to these, can help you a lot in choosing the perfect day-care for your little one.
If you find the best justified answers to most of such questions, you may have found just the right day-care for your baby/toddler. Let learning and growth be a fun-loving experience for them, after all!